With support from the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research (SCTR) Institute, Medical University of South Carolina researchers Shikhar Mehrotra, Ph.D. (left), and Xue-Zhong Yu, M.D. (right), have shown that immune-based treatments, such as adoptive T-cell therapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), can be improved by modulating T-cells with thioredoxin, a powerful, naturally occurring antioxidant molecule.
In the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Mehrotra reports that thioredoxin extends the life of adoptive T-cells by neutralizing toxic reactive oxygen molecules (ROS), overcoming a major drawback of this cancer immunotherapy. Mehrotra received SCTR pilot project funding.
Yu, who studies the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after HSCT, used a mouse model to test the effect of thioredoxin on donor T-cells. He reports in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that thioredoxin decreased toxic ROS in donor T-cells and made them less reactive to the patient’s healthy tissues, thereby preventing GVHD. Co-authors of the article included SCTR TL1 scholars.